15/02/2018 Question Time


15/02/2018

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LineFromTo

Tonight, we are in Yeovil

and welcome to Question Time.

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And we are actually not

precisely in Yeovil.

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We are in the Fleet Air Arm

Museum at Yeovilton,

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which is just outside Yeovil.

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On our panel tonight,

the former Secretary of State

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for Northern Ireland,

who was a member of

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the European Parliament,

then voted for Brexit,

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and is a Conservative MP,

Theresa Villiers.

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David Lammy, Labour MP for the same

London constituency for 18 years,

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a minister in both Blair

and the Brown governments.

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The managing director of the frozen

food company Iceland,

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which currently recently became

the first big retailer in Britain

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to pledge to get rid of plastic

packaging within five years,

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Richard Walker.

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And the economist, writer,

campaigner, who used to work

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for the charity Save the Children,

Faiza Shaheen.

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And the former Sunday Times

journalist who became

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David Cameron's head of policy,

now in the House of Lords,

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Camilla Cavendish.

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Thank you very much.

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And remember, as always,

from home you can argue these issues

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using #BBCQT on Twitter

and on Facebook.

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Let's have our first question,

which comes from Victoria McGregor.

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Would you still make

a donation to Oxfam?

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David Lammy.

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Yes.

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Just about.

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And that's because there is so much

to do across the world,

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and Oxfam and a number of aid

agencies have been leading the way.

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There are 130 million young

girls across the world

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who are not being educated.

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In our own country, we are pledged

to get 11 million of those young

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girls educated by 2020.

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I think of Ebola, and diseases

across the world like malaria,

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which we could overcome,

and the wonderful work that

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taxpayers in this country

have contributed to.

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So I know that there is a debate

about getting rid of aid entirely.

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It's not one I agree with.

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Having said that, this is a moment

for the aid agencies to step up

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and understand why the public

are so upset.

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The old-fashioned idea,

it seems to me, of someone

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flying in from Holland,

on this occasion, to Haiti,

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gap year kids, working

and doing good to the poor,

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has got to end.

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I've been critical of the way

in which Africa and development aid

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is sometimes portrayed

as if immigrants from those

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countries don't give three

times more, actually,

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sent back in remittances,

than the aid agencies or taxpayers.

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So there's a lot that's got

to change and this is a moment

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in which I hope that happens.

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But I'd also say this one point,

that in the end we, in this country

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and other Western countries,

also have to remember the role

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we played in the carve up

of the African continent,

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the Indian continent,

our imperious and colonialist past,

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that means whilst we need reform

in aid it would be absolutely

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objectionable for this country

to withdraw from its international

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obligations to the very

poorest in the world.

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APPLAUSE

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Of course, the question arises

from the 2011 cover-up,

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as Oxfam was accused of their staff

in Haiti using prostitutes.

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Faiza Shaheen, what do you think?

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What we've heard over the last week

is incredibly disappointing.

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I hear it when people

say that "I'm not sure

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"if I could give money any more".

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The thing is of course...

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And it's absolutely right

that those in senior positions

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and those involved should

consider their positions.

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But the big thing is that despicable

people cannot stop good people

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from doing good work,

and doing good deeds.

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This is humanitarian work.

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We are humans.

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We need to retain that,

we need to fight for that.

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I totally agree that the development

agencies need to do a lot more.

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For the last few months

we have heard a lot

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about the abuse of power.

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We've heard about it in Hollywood,

we've heard about it in Parliament

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and we've heard about it in sports.

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And this is just another place where

that societal problem is clear,

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that when you give people too much

power, they can abuse that.

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Not always, of course,

but they can abuse that.

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So we need to do a lot more

on the safeguards and we need to do

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a lot more to make sure that some

of what happened in terms of not

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being known that this guy managed

to get another job afterwards,

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that that can't happen again.

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And that's the sort of thing we need

to make sure they do now.

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So what I would say

to you is if Oxfam and other

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development agencies can't show

that they are making that

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difference, that they are shifting

their funds and shifting the way

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that they are doing things,

then that's the point

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at which you say, "OK,

they haven't changed their ways".

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Can I just put to you a quotation

from the Oxfam staff training manual

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and ask you whether you think this

is a proper or adequate

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answer to this?

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It was written in 2006 and it

says, "We haven't banned

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"the use of prostitutes

but we strongly discourage it".

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Is that enough?

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No.

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I don't think that's enough.

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What do you think

they should be saying?

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Well, look, it just shouldn't have

happened, they shouldn't

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be using prostitutes.

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Look, I worked for Save the Children

for just 18 months and the issues

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that are coming out here of quite

macho environments are things that

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of course are there in the sector.

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And I saw them.

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And there was a bigger issue,

and I completely support

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the use of foreign aid,

and we need to think about...

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I was there when the Ebola outbreak

happened, and you think about people

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that go there and help people.

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They are heroes, often.

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And we often find that

if we had not have made those

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interventions at that time,

can you imagine what would have

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happened if that disease

had spread further?

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So it's really worth

that investment.

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But there's a lot of change

that does need to happen

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within the development sector

and this is the time to do it.

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The person in blue that

had their hand up.

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I'm a charity worker myself,

and whilst there is always

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going to be bad apples in any

organisation and safeguarding

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is about minimising the risk,

isn't this a society issue?

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Why are we starting...

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I know there's an issue with Oxfam

and we can start cherrypicking,

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but this is an issue

with all of our societies.

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OK, and the person

with their hand up.

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Keep your hand up

if you want to speak.

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Yes, you.

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I work with a couple of West Country

charities that have been

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through a difficult period recently,

and one of the problems

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is that the Charity Commission

is a toothless regulator.

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And what Oxfam shows

is that it is a toothless regulator,

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because it looked at this problem

a while ago and moved away

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without finding the real issue.

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And it didn't dig to find

out what was going on.

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No, and it doesn't.

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And if we're not dealing with...

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If the Charity Commission is not

focused on preventing

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financing foreign terrorism,

which is what the government have

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tasked it to look at,

it ignores virtually everything else

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until it hits the papers.

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Richard Walker.

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I mean, look, what happened

was beyond reprehensible.

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To exploit the most vulnerable

in some of the most vulnerable

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areas in the world.

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And I hope it serves as a wake-up

call for the sector.

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And now the spotlight is on,

I'm sure more will come out.

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But from any organisation's point

of view, in business

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or in the charitable sector,

you need to ensure that positions

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of power are not abused,

and that people who have been abused

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can be facilitated to come

forward and speak up.

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So I would argue that Oxfam urgently

need to step up and show leadership,

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because I'm really worried

about the future of this

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amazing organisation

which is being poisoned

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by a few people.

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Would you still make a donation?

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I would, yes.

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Because to not make that

donation is almost to doubly

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hurt those people that

need our help the most.

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APPLAUSE

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Camilla Cavendish.

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So, I don't think this is a debate,

or should be a debate

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about shutting down aid.

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I think this is a debate

about accountability.

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And I agree.

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We can't just single out Oxfam.

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There are clearly issues,

unfortunately, emerging

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across the board.

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But the truth is that I think

if I was running Oxfam,

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and I was an aid worker a long time

ago and I know how chaotic

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it is and that there are great

people working on the front line,

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and I know how these things,

I can imagine how these

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things can go wrong.

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If I had been running Oxfam,

I would have shut down

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that operation in Haiti.

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I would have fired that guy,

rather than paying him off

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so he would get a job somewhere else

and I would have put my hands up.

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That wouldn't have shut

down the help to Haiti.

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All that would have meant was that

other agencies who were already

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there would have moved in.

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But the truth is that I am very

uncomfortable with a big

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organisation covering things up,

passing on monstrous employees

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with appalling behaviour.

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And by the way, it's only two years

ago since Oxfam and other charities

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Something has gone wrong in that

organisation, I'm sorry to say.

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And I think this is a deep

issue of accountability.

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I've not actually donated

to Oxfam myself for years.

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I donate to Medecins Sans Frontieres

and smaller charities where I feel

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I really know the money's

going to the front line.

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But that's a personal decision.

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But I don't think it's OK

for institutions to say that

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because their mission is to help

the vulnerable they

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are not accountable.

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That, to me, is wrong and we need

to do something about it.

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APPLAUSE

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The speaker at the back said

the Charities Commission wasn't

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doing its job either because it

didn't pick up on this and didn't

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investigate it properly

and they are the watchdog.

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I think that's a very

interesting issue.

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I know some of the work

of the Charities Commission,

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which actually has been very

effective.

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I think you were talking

about terrorism and that aspect.

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Maybe they have

focused on that more.

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I think regulators always

have a difficult job.

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I'm sure more should be done.

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But you know what?

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Oxfam shouldn't have let this

happen in the first place.

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That's kind of...

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Theresa Villiers.

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It is repellent that people

who were there to help vulnerable

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people ended up exploiting them.

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So I think for the moment,

if we are making a donation,

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I would prefer to give to

a different aid charity than Oxfam

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until Oxfam can prove it

has cleaned up its act.

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I agree with the speaker at the back

who said that unfortunately people

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who abuse power are present

in all sectors of society.

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The crucial thing now is for the aid

sector as a whole to make sure

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they have the most robust possible

safeguarding mechanisms so that

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whistle-blowers can come forward,

victims can come forward,

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and so this type of abuse

is detected at an early stage

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and stopped in its tracks.

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But I am convinced that we should

continue, as individuals

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and as taxpayers, to donate

to development aid.

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It is crucial, not only just

for the moral reasons of helping

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some of the poorest and most

disadvantaged in the world,

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but it is also crucial I think

for our interests as a nation.

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I take as an example the fact that

UK taxpayers' aid has supported

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almost 65 million people to have

access to clean water

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and health care.

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Now that kind of project

is essential in tackling

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antimicrobial resistance.

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And you support the 0.7% of GDP

going to aid, do you?

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I do.

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Which many people criticise

on the grounds that it's

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a lot of money and could

be used elsewhere.

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Unequivocal support you have for it?

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I support the 0.7% target.

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It is a lot of money but there

is a moral case to do this.

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But there are also very sensible,

practical reasons why

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it is in the interests

of the United Kingdom

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to spend this money.

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Camilla, do you agree?

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I don't support the 0.7% target.

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Not because I don't think that aid

is important or because I don't

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think we have done some great things

as a country, but because when you

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set a target like that

and you set it in stone,

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it becomes an enormous incentive

for people to spend money

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without thinking it through.

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And that's why I have never actually

supported that target.

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And many years ago I started

writing about Ethiopia,

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which is a huge recipient of British

aid, where the government

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was using aid to silence dissidents.

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And I wrote, with the help

of Human Rights Watch,

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and I couldn't get the government

to talk to me and I couldn't get

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the agencies to talk to me

because they had too much invested,

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and they had essentially too

much vested interest

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in continuing the flow of money.

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Did you say this to David Cameron

when you were working for him,

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in the policy unit?

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For many years I have

said that to him.

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And he took no notice.

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He believes, I am sure

he still does and he did then,

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absolutely passionately in aid.

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He believes in helping

the most vulnerable.

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That is great.

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What I object to and what I worry

about is when you set a target

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in stone you set create a strange

set of incentives.

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You, sir.

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I run a charity.

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The Charities Commission

has been given dozens

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of new powers by the government

to investigate charities.

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It just isn't using them because it

doesn't have the resources to do so.

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Why has it taken a national

scandal for them finally

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to investigate Oxfam?

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And your answer to that is?

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They are short of resources.

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The woman there on the left.

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Andrew Mitchell was the Secretary

of State when this scandal took

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place and he said that the reason

he didn't know about it is because

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Oxfam described it as misconduct,

and the officials at DfID

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took it no further.

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So surely there is

culpability there.

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If something came through my desk

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that said "misconduct",

my first question would be,

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"What kind of misconduct"?

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They didn't ask the question.

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Right, he was a minister in your

party's government, what do you say?

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Oxfam should have described the type

of misconduct that it was.

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But she says if you get a thing

on your paper saying

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"misconduct" you investigate.

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You don't just say,

"Oh, misconduct".

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Well, I mean, certainly

in hindsight they should have

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asked more questions.

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But the real culpability

here is with Oxfam for not

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disclosing the nature

of what happened.

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Any more points for anyone,

otherwise I will go

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on to the next question.

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Yes, you sir.

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Will all these people that's been

caught now be blacklisted and stop

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from working within charities?

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In the future?

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David Lammy?

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God I hope so.

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I mean look, the point,

I think the point is about power.

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De facto.

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If you are coming from Britain

to any of these countries, you have

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considerable power.

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You land in those countries,

you see the jeeps

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that people go around in.

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The salaries they get

a significantly

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higher than local people.

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What we've got to do

is we've got to bend

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towards the south.

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You need local workers,

local community, you've got

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to lift them up.

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Far more than Westerners arriving.

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Of course they've got to be sacked.

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Let me just say,

Oxfam have got to move

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rapidly to show they have heard.

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There has got to be more people

looking at their positions and

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stepping aside.

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Fresh people have got

to arrive, they've got to be

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southern -based,

connected to the ground.

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To really demonstrate

they've got it.

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And lots and lots of other

agencies have to follow that

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as well.

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When taxpayers are funding Oxfam,

£32 million, it does require

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greater scrutiny.

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That's why it is right that

ministers are asking

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questions about what that misconduct

was and the charity commission

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isn't just a toothless regulator.

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Absolutely.

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OK.

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Right, before we go

onto next question...

0:16:210:16:23

Question Time next Thursday

comes from Uttoxeter.

0:16:230:16:26

And the week after

that from Blackpool.

0:16:260:16:32

Details of how to get to Uttoxeter

or Blackpool if you want

0:16:320:16:35

to come to the programme

are on the screen.

0:16:350:16:37

I will as ever give them at the end.

0:16:370:16:39

I'll take this question now please

from Ruth Binney, please.

0:16:390:16:43

If biscuits and other

highly processed

0:16:430:16:44

foods are damaging the nation's

health, isn't it time for them to be

0:16:440:16:47

taxed?

0:16:470:16:49

I think this is based

on a report today.

0:16:490:16:52

The French government saying

people who use highly

0:16:520:16:55

processed foods are more

likely to get cancer.

0:16:550:16:57

Well, Iceland...

0:16:570:17:04

Highly processed foods and biscuits.

0:17:040:17:05

I picked a good week to come on.

0:17:050:17:07

You did.

0:17:070:17:08

75 chicken nuggets for £3.

0:17:080:17:09

Actually...

0:17:090:17:10

You answer the question.

0:17:100:17:14

Something that has been annoying me

about the press today is the chicken

0:17:140:17:17

nuggets.

0:17:170:17:19

It's been used as an example

of an ultra-processed food.

0:17:190:17:21

Our chicken nuggets

are made from 100% chicken.

0:17:210:17:25

Come on!

0:17:250:17:27

And breadcrumbs.

0:17:270:17:30

There is an important point here.

0:17:300:17:33

What did you say your

company was called?

0:17:330:17:35

What is wrong with that

other than snobbery?

0:17:350:17:38

OK.

0:17:380:17:40

Shall I go down the rest

of the list or not?

0:17:400:17:42

24 cans of Pepsi for £6.50.

0:17:420:17:46

42 packets...

0:17:460:17:48

I don't know why this matters

because you are here to

0:17:480:17:51

answer the general question.

0:17:510:17:52

And you know the business well.

0:17:520:17:53

Highly processed foods

are damaging health.

0:17:530:17:55

Is it time for them to be taxed?

0:17:550:18:00

Look, I think it's ultimately,

it comes down to a balanced diet.

0:18:000:18:04

I recognise that retailers

have a responsibility to provide

0:18:040:18:07

an option of choices.

0:18:070:18:14

So if you want to have a processed

meal, retailers need to

0:18:140:18:17

ensure that is high-quality

to the best possible standards

0:18:170:18:19

at the best possible price.

0:18:190:18:27

If you want to do some scratch

cooking and buy chicken

0:18:340:18:37

and vegetables and fresh fruit,

0:18:370:18:38

which you can do from our store,

we're not all frozen.

0:18:380:18:41

Then, you know, that's fine as well.

0:18:410:18:42

I think it's incumbent

on the retailers to

0:18:420:18:44

give customers that choice.

0:18:440:18:45

I don't think that we can

really tax our way

0:18:450:18:48

to solving this situation.

0:18:480:18:49

But I think we can all do better.

0:18:490:18:53

There are regulations

that have come in

0:18:530:18:55

for example, such as an sugar.

0:18:550:18:57

Don't tell anyone

because I'm hoping our

0:18:570:19:01

customers won't notice, but we've

taken out over the last year 10%

0:19:010:19:04

sugar.

0:19:040:19:08

Do you accept in principle highly

processed foods are less good

0:19:080:19:11

for you than fresh food?

0:19:110:19:12

And this report by the

French doctor saying

0:19:120:19:17

you're more likely to get cancer,

are you disturbed by that or do you

0:19:170:19:20

reject that argument?

0:19:200:19:21

I'm not disturbed

by it and I think the

0:19:210:19:24

researchers themselves have said

more research needs to be done.

0:19:240:19:26

Every week there is a food scare

and it may be excessive alcohol

0:19:260:19:29

consumption or excessive

fat or excessive sugar.

0:19:290:19:31

And of course if you eat one

thing always it will be

0:19:310:19:34

bad for you.

0:19:340:19:35

The fundamental point

here is it's about balance and

0:19:350:19:37

choice.

0:19:370:19:41

You know, retailers have got to work

damn hard to make sure

0:19:410:19:48

products are as good quality

as we can make them.

0:19:480:19:51

Camilla Cavendish.

0:19:510:19:52

Well I was the author of the sugar

tax on fizzy drinks.

0:19:520:19:55

Which is coming in next year.

0:19:550:19:58

So I'm regarded as a health fascist

and deeply unpopular

0:19:580:20:01

with many sections of the community.

0:20:010:20:02

Are you unpopular with Iceland?

0:20:020:20:04

Well I don't know

because by the sound of

0:20:040:20:06

it...

0:20:060:20:07

You can buy quinoa,

asparagus spears, you know.

0:20:070:20:09

Great, I live on asparagus

spears, that's all I eat.

0:20:090:20:12

Come on, back to the sugar.

0:20:120:20:14

Look, what I discovered,

so the evidence

0:20:140:20:18

on fizzy drinks is terrible.

0:20:180:20:19

Teenagers in this country drink

enormous amounts of it.

0:20:190:20:23

Richard's point about

moderation is right but

0:20:230:20:24

the fact is we don't seem very good,

in ourselves, to being moderate.

0:20:240:20:29

We wanted to bring in a tax to make

drinks more expensive.

0:20:290:20:33

It was an onslaught

from the companies.

0:20:330:20:36

Every company said

they couldn't possibly

0:20:360:20:37

reformulate, it would be impossible

to change their ingredients,

0:20:370:20:39

impossible to take the sugar out.

0:20:390:20:43

Here we are three months before

the tax comes in and every single

0:20:430:20:46

company except one has

already reformulated

0:20:460:20:48

its drink to avoid

the

0:20:480:20:49

tax.

0:20:490:20:52

Which I think is a huge success.

0:20:520:20:54

And I do actually think, sadly,

I would much rather work with

0:20:540:20:58

business to do these things

but sometimes you really need to put

0:20:580:21:03

pressure on because it is very

difficult for consumers to know what

0:21:030:21:06

on earth we are supposed to buy.

0:21:060:21:10

Making things more expensive does

change people's behaviour in a way

0:21:100:21:13

I'm afraid all the leaflets we've

read over the years, for the

0:21:130:21:16

newspaper article fundamentally...

0:21:160:21:18

You talk about sugar, do you think

all processed foods, they were

0:21:180:21:25

saying today the longer

the list of things that make

0:21:250:21:27

up the food the more

0:21:270:21:29

likely it is to be highly processed.

0:21:290:21:30

Do think they should be taxed?

0:21:300:21:32

This is what I've read.

0:21:320:21:33

I think it's very difficult

having done this sugar tax

0:21:330:21:35

which is relatively easy to tax

sugar in a drink, because it's quite

0:21:350:21:39

easy to isolate the sugar.

0:21:390:21:40

I think it would be

incredible difficult to

0:21:400:21:42

tax individual ingredients which is

actually why the government is

0:21:420:21:44

trying to work with businesses like

Richard's to do something slightly

0:21:440:21:47

more sophisticated.

0:21:470:21:48

It's obviously an issue

about the way in which

0:21:480:21:50

corporations and food businesses

and behave when they are given these

0:21:500:21:53

regulations and there's obviously

more we can do on that front.

0:21:530:21:55

There's obviously the other side

of this equation which is people's

0:21:550:21:58

pockets.

0:21:580:21:59

Part of the reason they will go

to Iceland and to certain

0:21:590:22:02

stores is because they're cheaper

and they'll buy things that are

0:22:020:22:04

perhaps more processed and £1 for

chicken nuggets or whatever it is.

0:22:040:22:07

Which my husband

quite likes actually.

0:22:070:22:14

It's the way in which people

make their money work.

0:22:140:22:18

And we had a decade

of such low wage growth

0:22:180:22:20

in this country.

0:22:200:22:22

We haven't had a decade of this kind

of wage growth for over 200 years.

0:22:220:22:26

People are really feeling

the squeeze in terms

0:22:260:22:28

of how much money

they have left over.

0:22:280:22:30

Also time restraints as well.

0:22:300:22:33

So people working more hours,

trying to make those ends meet.

0:22:330:22:40

And that's where these

sorts of short cuts and

0:22:400:22:42

these kinds of foods become

a possibility in which to make it

0:22:420:22:45

work, make everyday work.

0:22:450:22:46

So we don't want to

punish those people.

0:22:460:22:49

We want to do something on both

sides of those equations.

0:22:490:22:51

You want to give people

more money, make sure

0:22:510:22:53

they have jobs that pay them well,

and we want to make sure that they

0:22:530:22:57

can buy good produce.

0:22:570:22:58

You know, there's some

places you live, and

0:22:580:22:59

there's like food deserts.

0:22:590:23:01

It's like hard to get

good, fresh produce in

0:23:010:23:03

your neighbourhood, so we need to do

something on both sides.

0:23:030:23:05

Ruth Binney, you asked

the question, what

0:23:050:23:07

do you think?

0:23:070:23:08

I'm particularly concerned

about what I would call

0:23:080:23:10

the food extras.

0:23:100:23:13

The biscuits, the crisps,

the things that aren't

0:23:130:23:15

really nutritionally valuable.

0:23:150:23:18

But I would also go

further if I was going

0:23:180:23:21

to have a tax on them.

0:23:210:23:23

I would actually ring

fence that tax money

0:23:230:23:24

for the NHS.

0:23:240:23:26

All right, so...

0:23:260:23:28

APPLAUSE I'll come to you.

0:23:280:23:29

Who else would like to talk?

0:23:290:23:34

You all obviously go shopping.

0:23:340:23:35

Yes, the woman there

in the centre, what do you think?

0:23:350:23:38

Would you like to see

a tax on processed

0:23:380:23:40

foods?

0:23:400:23:41

Well I hate to use a pun,

but it sounds like all stick and no

0:23:410:23:45

carrot here.

0:23:450:23:46

Instead of making processed

food more expensive, why

0:23:460:23:48

not make healthy food cheaper?

0:23:480:23:49

Because it's actually

really expensive...

0:23:490:23:50

APPLAUSE

To go shopping.

0:23:500:23:52

To buy all of the healthy

ingredients, the gentleman

0:23:520:23:54

said, to make your food

from scratch, it adds up.

0:23:540:23:57

Ask Jamie Oliver, he says

he's got those cheap

0:23:570:23:59

books, but my God, it adds up, it's

very expensive to cook from scratch.

0:23:590:24:05

How do you find yourself buying,

do you buy a lot of processed

0:24:050:24:08

food?

0:24:080:24:09

We try, we do try, I've got two

children, so we try to eat

0:24:090:24:12

healthily and we try to cook

from scratch as much as possible.

0:24:120:24:15

But as Faiza said,

my husband and I work

0:24:150:24:17

full-time, I'm a teacher

and my husband's in the Navy.

0:24:170:24:20

It's not always

possible to go to the

0:24:200:24:22

supermarket, gather up

all those ingredients,

0:24:220:24:23

pay for it all at once.

0:24:230:24:24

It's actually really expensive

to make one meal as opposed

0:24:240:24:29

as opposed to grabbing,

I don't know, just a takeaway or

0:24:290:24:31

something like that.

0:24:310:24:32

The man there.

0:24:320:24:34

You agree with her?

0:24:340:24:35

On making fresh food

is cheaper, you can go

0:24:350:24:37

into Asda and they've got things

like raspberries £2 upon it, or two

0:24:370:24:40

for £3.

0:24:400:24:41

Why can't they just

make one punnet £1.50?

0:24:410:24:43

Because they go off,

things go off really quick.

0:24:430:24:45

The volume is too big?

0:24:450:24:46

Yes.

0:24:460:24:47

I don't think we want

to get into retail

0:24:470:24:49

arguments necessarily.

0:24:490:24:50

Why not?

0:24:500:24:51

Theresa Villiers.

0:24:510:24:54

Well, the trouble with taxes

on food is the people

0:24:540:25:02

they hit in the pocket are people

on the lowest incomes.

0:25:020:25:04

So I'm not convinced

we should take this step.

0:25:040:25:06

I do, though, believe

it is vital for the food

0:25:060:25:09

industry to do more

to

0:25:090:25:10

reduce sugar content.

0:25:100:25:11

I'm somewhat sceptical

about this particular

0:25:110:25:13

study.

0:25:130:25:17

It seems they only got people

to write out what they ate for two

0:25:170:25:20

days.

0:25:200:25:21

It seems quite a big step to draw

the conclusions they have but

0:25:210:25:24

there is no doubt that

being overweight is one of the most

0:25:240:25:27

important preventable

causes of cancer.

0:25:270:25:30

So the food industry and government

and society as a whole,

0:25:300:25:33

we need a strong public health

campaign to educate people and

0:25:330:25:36

support them in trying

to eat more healthily,

0:25:360:25:38

because that is the best way

to prevent themselves from

0:25:380:25:40

getting cancer.

0:25:400:25:41

OK, the person up there

on the gangway, yes.

0:25:410:25:43

Yes, you.

0:25:430:25:46

Why do we always come back to this

thing about if you put prices of

0:25:460:25:50

these processed and sugary goods

up its always the lowest paid people

0:25:500:25:52

that will suffer?

0:25:520:25:54

Why does anybody need

to give their children cans of

0:25:540:25:57

Coke?

0:25:570:25:59

You're not going to die

if you don't have a can of Coke.

0:25:590:26:04

There is water, there's

much less fizzy,

0:26:040:26:06

sweet drinks about, and cheaper.

0:26:060:26:08

OK.

0:26:080:26:11

The woman there.

0:26:110:26:15

Perhaps we should look

at the cause and go back to the

0:26:150:26:20

syllabus of home economics at school

and teach people, teach children,

0:26:200:26:22

how to cook properly from scratch.

0:26:220:26:26

We used to do it when I went

to school and now they have to put a

0:26:260:26:30

topping on a pizza that

they bought in a shop.

0:26:300:26:32

APPLAUSE David Lammy.

0:26:320:26:40

I think we've really got

to keep in mind when we're

0:26:400:26:46

talking about taxes, families

where both couples are working.

0:26:460:26:49

And finishing work

at five, six o'clock

0:26:490:26:50

in the evening.

0:26:500:26:51

Like her family.

0:26:510:26:57

We've got to keep in mind single

mums, we've got to keep in mind

0:26:570:27:03

those on zero-hour contracts.

0:27:030:27:04

And so the fact is that

processed food is a way

0:27:040:27:07

of life.

0:27:070:27:08

It seems to me the starting

point is the regulation.

0:27:080:27:12

Don't underestimate

the power, sorry, big

0:27:120:27:14

supermarkets in this country.

0:27:140:27:22

Don't underestimate

how governments can

0:27:230:27:24

defer, often, the debate

around labelling.

0:27:240:27:26

Too much fat, too much sugar,

too much salt in a lot of

0:27:260:27:29

this food.

0:27:290:27:30

You've got to get the regulation

first before you start to

0:27:300:27:33

tax people because of the

circumstances in which they live, it

0:27:330:27:35

seems to me.

0:27:350:27:36

Do you feel unregulated?

0:27:360:27:37

Is it right saying you have

the power, not the government?

0:27:370:27:40

I'm broadly in favour,

you know, of regulation

0:27:400:27:42

coming in, so long

as

0:27:420:27:45

it's a level playing field

and the industry can act together.

0:27:450:27:48

I think the lady over

there made a really

0:27:480:27:50

valid point on home

economics and education.

0:27:500:27:52

That must play a role as well.

0:27:520:27:53

You know, if...

0:27:530:27:58

Why do we always blame

the schools for what in

0:27:580:28:00

the end is a supermarket problem?

0:28:000:28:02

Leave the teachers out of it.

0:28:020:28:05

Let us not demonise

a ready meal because if

0:28:050:28:08

it's good quality and,

you know, you don't

0:28:080:28:10

have much time, what is

the

0:28:100:28:11

problem?

0:28:110:28:12

Can I explain one thing?

0:28:120:28:17

We'll come to you.

0:28:170:28:18

The sugar tax on drinks was not

a tax on customers, it's a

0:28:180:28:21

tax on manufacturers.

0:28:210:28:22

And the whole point

of it was to get manufacturers

0:28:220:28:25

to change the ingredients

in the product.

0:28:250:28:26

So it comes...

0:28:260:28:27

They've cut down

the amount of sugars.

0:28:270:28:29

That's what would work best.

0:28:290:28:30

So nobody's paying this

tax, you're saying?

0:28:300:28:32

If you can actually

get manufacturers

0:28:320:28:33

to stop putting junk,

because it's cheaper for them,

0:28:330:28:35

into their products.

0:28:350:28:39

But Coca-Cola as a result of this

is reducing the amount of

0:28:390:28:42

Coke and putting the price up.

0:28:420:28:49

Coca-Cola are not,

Coca-Cola is the one company

0:28:490:28:51

that is not changing

0:28:510:28:53

their product as I understand.

0:28:530:28:54

And they're putting the price?

0:28:540:28:56

I don't know what

they're doing with the

0:28:560:28:57

price, but they're not...

0:28:570:28:59

They made that the price

up but you will have

0:28:590:29:01

other options which will be cheaper.

0:29:010:29:02

The woman here.

0:29:020:29:03

When I went to postnatal

classes just after having

0:29:030:29:06

my babies, a lot of the other

mothers there were saying their

0:29:060:29:09

children wouldn't drink water,

they would only drink squash,

0:29:090:29:11

and they would only eat biscuits

and wouldn't

0:29:110:29:12

eat vegetables.

0:29:120:29:14

In my view, the point

about education is really

0:29:140:29:16

important, but actually I think it's

educating parents, because once

0:29:160:29:18

you've got a child,

even at five or six,

0:29:180:29:20

and they've been brought up eating

biscuits and cakes and not

0:29:200:29:23

eating vegetables and not

understanding about that side of

0:29:230:29:25

things, it's almost too late.

0:29:250:29:26

So I'm not convinced

particularly about the

0:29:260:29:28

tax, although I like the idea

of it being preventative.

0:29:280:29:31

I think are really, really

important thing is to

0:29:310:29:33

make sure we have good dedication

of parents and parenting.

0:29:330:29:41

OK.

0:29:420:29:43

APPLAUSE The man up

0:29:430:29:44

there, you were saying?

0:29:440:29:45

You need to make distinction

between preprepared food and

0:29:450:29:47

processed food.

0:29:470:29:48

Which has got blown up there.

0:29:480:29:55

- blurred.

0:29:550:29:56

You can buy from Iceland

preprepared food that isn't

0:29:560:30:02

processed, just need heating.

0:30:020:30:03

And then processed

foods, like sausages,

0:30:030:30:04

burgers, things like that.

0:30:040:30:05

Food that just needs

eating sounds...

0:30:050:30:07

Heating!

0:30:070:30:10

LAUGHTER

0:30:100:30:11

"This food just needs eating"!

0:30:110:30:14

The woman there.

0:30:140:30:15

I wanted to say the thing

about schools is too easy.

0:30:150:30:17

I've got two kids at high school.

0:30:170:30:20

They've made chicken

nuggets from scratch.

0:30:200:30:21

They've made vegetable

korma from scratch.

0:30:210:30:23

They bring them home

and it's delicious.

0:30:230:30:25

So it is happening in schools.

0:30:250:30:27

Let's move to another question.

0:30:270:30:31

Since we are talking

about schools, I'll bring

0:30:310:30:33

you in if you'd like to come in.

0:30:330:30:35

It's a question from

Michelle Moredue.

0:30:350:30:40

Can the ticking time bomb

of mental health and stress

0:30:400:30:44

in our schools really be solved

by even more testing?

0:30:440:30:48

This is based on this

announcement that schools,

0:30:480:30:50

eight and nine-year-olds

are going to have tests

0:30:500:30:54

of their tables added

to the tables they already have.

0:30:540:30:59

Further from that, the suggestion

from Nick Gibb to bring testing

0:30:590:31:02

further down to 12-year-olds,

because it would alleviate

0:31:020:31:05

their exam stress further

on in their educational career.

0:31:050:31:09

Obviously, the whole thing of stress

in schools is a really

0:31:090:31:12

serious, growing issue.

0:31:120:31:13

Theresa Villiers, what do you think?

0:31:130:31:15

Yeah, I do worry about

the amount of testing

0:31:150:31:19

there is in schools,

but it is working.

0:31:190:31:23

School standards are rising.

0:31:230:31:25

Literacy standards are improving

dramatically in our schools.

0:31:250:31:30

We are seeing exam

standards rising as well.

0:31:300:31:34

And I believe that, whilst it's

important to keep these

0:31:340:31:38

things under review...

0:31:380:31:40

I think we should think

very carefully before

0:31:400:31:42

introducing new tests.

0:31:420:31:45

But, for example with the latest

announcements on times tables,

0:31:450:31:48

these are the sort of tests that

have been used successfully

0:31:480:31:51

elsewhere in the world.

0:31:510:31:52

And I do believe that testing

is helping to deliver very

0:31:520:31:55

significant improvements

in our education system.

0:31:550:31:58

But are the test scores rising

but actually the application

0:31:580:32:02

of the skills are not rising?

0:32:020:32:06

I think that's what I find,

as a deputy headteacher,

0:32:060:32:08

as somebody who is working

on the front line with education.

0:32:080:32:11

They are not actually able then

to apply those skills.

0:32:110:32:13

They are not using those

skills in the right frame,

0:32:130:32:15

in the right way, when they go out

into the workforce.

0:32:150:32:19

You asked a question

about mental stress.

0:32:190:32:23

Do you find that

growing in your school?

0:32:230:32:25

Absolutely.

0:32:250:32:26

Without enough funding

being put in place for those

0:32:260:32:28

children to support them.

0:32:280:32:30

We are effectively telling

the children that they've failed

0:32:300:32:32

at such a young age.

0:32:320:32:33

And all that does is degrade them.

0:32:330:32:36

We've already got several

generations walking around

0:32:360:32:38

having hated school.

0:32:380:32:40

APPLAUSE

0:32:400:32:42

We mustn't create another

generation of people

0:32:420:32:44

that don't enjoy school.

0:32:440:32:49

Surely it's our job

to light the fires.

0:32:490:32:51

What form does the mental

health and stress take

0:32:510:32:54

in your experience as a deputy head?

0:32:540:32:56

Well, you've got children

who are fearful of going

0:32:560:32:58

into an exam situation.

0:32:580:32:59

They are fearful of it,

worried about not passing.

0:32:590:33:01

All they are bothered about is

what they get on the test score.

0:33:010:33:05

And then it becomes not

about acquiring skills for life.

0:33:050:33:07

It becomes about that test score.

0:33:070:33:10

So yes, actually the phonics test

did raise the standards.

0:33:100:33:13

It raised the standards

in passing a test.

0:33:130:33:16

But it didn't actually

impact on reading.

0:33:160:33:18

And that's what it is.

0:33:180:33:20

Or cultivate a love of reading.

0:33:200:33:22

We are going up the

international league tables

0:33:220:33:24

on literacy and reading.

0:33:240:33:25

It has had an effect.

0:33:250:33:26

And how are we doing

on mental health?

0:33:260:33:28

Well, we need to do better on mental

health, which is why the government

0:33:280:33:31

is committed to a dramatic increase

in funding for mental health care.

0:33:310:33:34

All right.

0:33:340:33:35

Would you accept that

what is being described by Michelle

0:33:350:33:38

is a price that has to be paid

for improvement in the international

0:33:380:33:41

table of excellence?

0:33:410:33:43

Is stress a natural consequence of

what is being imposed on children?

0:33:430:33:48

Of course we should be doing

everything we can to prevent mental

0:33:480:33:51

health issues in children.

0:33:510:33:53

But it is possible to introduce

new tests in schools without

0:33:530:33:58

excessive stress on students.

0:33:580:34:02

And it is very important

to recognise the role of testing

0:34:020:34:06

in ensuring that children

are getting a decent education

0:34:060:34:09

that is crucial for them getting

a good start in life.

0:34:090:34:12

The person behind Michelle.

0:34:120:34:14

I've been a teacher.

0:34:140:34:17

I've also written

exam specifications.

0:34:170:34:17

I've been a teacher for 23 years.

0:34:170:34:19

I now work in a charity

with people who suffer

0:34:190:34:22

with mental health issues.

0:34:220:34:23

I understand that assessment

is simply about statistics.

0:34:230:34:27

It's simply about so this country

can say to another country,

0:34:270:34:29

"Look how good our students are".

0:34:290:34:31

This generation are disempowered.

0:34:310:34:33

I have three children in their 20s.

0:34:330:34:35

They can't remember their maths

because it was something

0:34:350:34:37

that was done to them.

0:34:370:34:39

They weren't engaged in it at all.

0:34:390:34:41

The vocational education,

the BTECs went out.

0:34:410:34:43

That was an absolute disaster

because BTECs were brilliant.

0:34:430:34:46

They engaged the pupil,

taught them life skills,

0:34:460:34:48

gave them interpersonal skills,

great communication skills.

0:34:480:34:52

And now we are just back to a simple

test which is testing one form

0:34:520:34:55

of intelligence in one way

which suits a certain

0:34:550:34:58

group of people.

0:34:580:34:59

APPLAUSE

0:34:590:35:07

Camilla Cavendish.

0:35:070:35:09

Well, I have three children

and the eldest is just

0:35:090:35:12

about to do his GCSEs.

0:35:120:35:14

And I think, you know I've

been around the policy

0:35:140:35:18

world for a long time.

0:35:180:35:19

It's not until you have kids that

you see it for what it is.

0:35:190:35:22

And what I can't believe

is how little has changed

0:35:220:35:24

since I was at school.

0:35:240:35:30

And it seems to me that we test

memory, we test short-term memory

0:35:300:35:33

and being able to learn

things by rote.

0:35:330:35:35

And it is important

to learn your times tables,

0:35:350:35:37

but we still test those things

when we are living in a world

0:35:370:35:40

where short-term memory is no

longer very important.

0:35:400:35:43

And I do think your point

is very interesting

0:35:430:35:45

about the application of skills.

0:35:450:35:46

We have gone up the league tables.

0:35:460:35:48

But I worry when I look at the GCSE

courses about the content of those

0:35:480:35:53

courses and the number of keywords

you have to just produce in order

0:35:530:35:56

to get a tick in the box.

0:35:560:35:58

I think there is something missing.

0:35:580:36:00

I wonder whether actually we should

still be testing kids at 16 at all,

0:36:000:36:04

given that everybody now

stays until 18.

0:36:040:36:06

And I worry that we

are just creating...

0:36:060:36:09

Luckily we have abolished AS-levels

which means at least you don't

0:36:090:36:12

have yet another series of tests.

0:36:120:36:14

But what we need are

children who are really

0:36:140:36:16

curious about the world.

0:36:160:36:17

We need children who can

actually apply their skills.

0:36:170:36:20

And I have to say, I do

believe in testing, I do

0:36:200:36:23

believe it's important.

0:36:230:36:24

But I don't think we are catering

for children with dyslexia,

0:36:240:36:26

for children with a whole series

of challenges who are not

0:36:260:36:29

particularly good

at short-term memory.

0:36:290:36:32

There are many, many other skills

that we are going to need if Britain

0:36:320:36:35

is going to compete in the world.

0:36:350:36:37

And what about the stress and mental

health as a price that is paid

0:36:370:36:40

for this testing regime?

0:36:400:36:41

We are seeing an awful lot of that.

0:36:410:36:43

An increasing amount of that?

0:36:430:36:45

I think the onus is partly

on schools to, as much as possible,

0:36:450:36:48

try and reduce the stress.

0:36:480:36:49

I think some children at a very

early age are picking up

0:36:490:36:52

stress from their teachers

and from the whole environment,

0:36:520:36:54

and I think that is a major problem.

0:36:540:36:56

The woman up there on the end.

0:36:560:36:57

I've got three granddaughters aged

from seven up,

0:36:570:37:00

and they love nothing more

than to have a test.

0:37:000:37:04

And I think when they are little

and they are being given tests,

0:37:040:37:07

that's fun, and like the lady

said, the stress can

0:37:070:37:11

come from the teachers.

0:37:110:37:14

And if the teachers aren't stressed,

the children aren't stressed.

0:37:140:37:17

The SATs was explained as a special

test, and it was something

0:37:170:37:20

to be excited about.

0:37:200:37:25

OK, you, sir, in the front.

0:37:250:37:26

There are a lot of people

with their hands up.

0:37:260:37:29

Yes, you.

0:37:290:37:30

At my university...

0:37:300:37:31

Someone said their kids

really enjoy testing.

0:37:310:37:32

The majority don't.

0:37:320:37:34

At my university there is a real

emphasis being placed upon getting

0:37:340:37:37

kids to engage in schools

through learning through sport.

0:37:370:37:41

So rather than sat down

in the classroom learning

0:37:410:37:46

their times tables they are actually

out applying skills through PE,

0:37:460:37:49

physical education, which has been

proved to work across Hampshire

0:37:490:37:52

on a large scale.

0:37:520:37:54

I think it should be rolled out

across more counties across the UK.

0:37:540:37:57

Faiza Shaheen, do you think

there is a rising problem of mental

0:37:570:38:00

stress among children

because of exams?

0:38:000:38:04

Is not a matter of thinking.

0:38:040:38:06

It's a fact, isn't it?

0:38:060:38:07

It's just there.

0:38:070:38:08

We need to listen more to teachers.

0:38:080:38:10

And this is what's happened

in the last eight years

0:38:100:38:12

since we've had Conservative-led

governments as well, that we have

0:38:120:38:15

cut and cut and cut.

0:38:150:38:17

Teachers themselves are under

huge amounts of stress.

0:38:170:38:19

You don't have teaching

assistants any more.

0:38:190:38:22

There's a lot more to do,

with the testing as well.

0:38:220:38:26

We need to listen to you about your

own stresses as well as what's

0:38:260:38:29

going on with the children

and the kids in your class.

0:38:290:38:34

We already assess our children.

0:38:340:38:35

I think it's frankly insulting

to have to bring in a test to do

0:38:350:38:39

a job that we are already

capable of doing.

0:38:390:38:41

Trust the professionals.

0:38:410:38:42

We do know what we're doing.

0:38:420:38:43

APPLAUSE

0:38:430:38:49

And we hear about mental

health all of the time,

0:38:490:38:51

from Theresa May talking

about investment in mental health.

0:38:510:38:53

When I go out and talk to youth

services, to people working

0:38:530:38:57

in mental health with young people,

it is cut.

0:38:570:38:59

The truth of the matter

on the ground is very

0:38:590:39:02

different to what we hear

from government ministers.

0:39:020:39:04

APPLAUSE

0:39:040:39:07

Richard Walker, you must see

lots of people coming out

0:39:070:39:10

of the education system

to work for you.

0:39:100:39:12

What is your impression of the way

that they are being taught

0:39:120:39:15

and the pressures they are under?

0:39:150:39:18

Well, I'm no educational expert

but I am a dad to two young girls.

0:39:180:39:22

And obviously I want them to be

the best they can be and do whatever

0:39:220:39:26

they want to do in life.

0:39:260:39:28

But I'm already worried

about the amount of homework

0:39:280:39:30

they have and the amount

of tests they have.

0:39:300:39:33

My wife used to work in Norway

and I think kids start school

0:39:330:39:37

there aged six or seven.

0:39:370:39:39

And it seems a lot more

of a relaxed introduction.

0:39:390:39:42

But to David's point,

in terms of what we see,

0:39:420:39:47

I think in terms of targets a lot

of school leavers think that

0:39:470:39:50

maybe higher education,

university, is the only

0:39:500:39:54

option available to them.

0:39:540:39:55

But skills for life was a great

phrase, because we need to be

0:39:550:40:00

looking at a broad sweep of options,

from vocational training

0:40:000:40:03

to the apprenticeship

levy which is coming,

0:40:030:40:05

which is fantastic.

0:40:050:40:07

We sponsor school leavers, pay them

a graduate equivalent salary,

0:40:070:40:10

but they are 18 and

they can train with us.

0:40:100:40:12

APPLAUSE

0:40:120:40:18

Let's come to the testing.

0:40:180:40:20

The woman on the right.

0:40:200:40:21

I think a lot of the mental stress

is caused by the desire

0:40:210:40:24

of parents and the children

themselves to succeed.

0:40:240:40:26

But I think a lesson

in life is if you fail,

0:40:260:40:29

you then try again harder

the next time.

0:40:290:40:31

So I don't think these children

should be under undue

0:40:310:40:33

pressure the whole time.

0:40:330:40:34

Being a failure is also

a lesson in life.

0:40:340:40:42

And the woman on the right.

0:40:460:40:47

You said that your government

was committed to providing

0:40:470:40:49

more support for mental

health in schools.

0:40:490:40:51

I am a teacher and I'm wondering

when that's going to come through,

0:40:510:40:54

because as a tutor I have students

come to me with mental health issues

0:40:540:40:57

pretty much every day.

0:40:570:40:58

And there is no support

that we can access as teachers.

0:40:580:41:01

We are having to be counsellors

as well as teachers.

0:41:010:41:04

What do you do when

somebody comes to you?

0:41:040:41:06

Are you a teacher of young people?

0:41:060:41:08

I teach A-levels at a college.

0:41:080:41:10

What do you do when

people come to you?

0:41:100:41:12

I support them as best as I can

and I refer them to what services

0:41:120:41:15

are available in our college.

0:41:150:41:16

But more often than not it can take

weeks for them to get

0:41:160:41:20

in with a counsellor.

0:41:200:41:22

And when you are 16,

that's too long.

0:41:220:41:24

They need help then and there.

0:41:240:41:29

Do you attribute this

to the testing in schools?

0:41:290:41:31

Yes.

0:41:310:41:32

There's a huge amount of pressure

put on young people to get

0:41:320:41:35

the grades they need at A-level,

to get into university.

0:41:350:41:37

And it's this constant,

"You need to do this

0:41:370:41:40

"to get to the next step".

0:41:400:41:42

What's the end for them?

0:41:420:41:44

David Lammy.

0:41:440:41:46

Well, I think the question is,

why has the government suddenly

0:41:460:41:51

decided that we need another

round of tests for eight-year-olds,

0:41:510:41:56

that that is the priority?

0:41:560:41:58

I just don't think

that's the priority.

0:41:580:42:01

The priority, if we are going to

exit the European Union, is skills.

0:42:010:42:06

So bring back night

schools in this country.

0:42:060:42:09

The priority is invest in youth

services in this country.

0:42:090:42:14

The priority is, why have

we cut FE budgets by 50%?

0:42:140:42:19

Are any open in the evening,

so people can skill up?

0:42:190:42:22

Those are the priorities,

not testing eight-year-olds.

0:42:220:42:27

And yes, it's so sad that we're

walking down the road,

0:42:270:42:31

like the Americans, we are seeing

more self-harm of youngsters,

0:42:310:42:33

really young kids.

0:42:330:42:37

Our teachers are stressed out

and leaving the profession.

0:42:370:42:42

And if you have a child

with a mental health problem,

0:42:420:42:45

or a learning disability,

or one of those issues,

0:42:450:42:47

you try getting a speech therapist.

0:42:470:42:50

You try ringing up child and

adolescent mental health services.

0:42:500:42:53

Impossible to get

on the waiting list.

0:42:530:42:56

You are waiting for years

basically just to get seen.

0:42:560:42:59

That's the context.

0:42:590:43:02

APPLAUSE

0:43:020:43:04

Under Conservative-led governments

0:43:040:43:07

there are 1.9 million more children

studying in good or

0:43:070:43:10

outstanding schools.

0:43:100:43:11

We are seeing stronger

exam standards and also,

0:43:110:43:14

for the very first time

in the history of the NHS,

0:43:140:43:17

we are introducing waiting time

targets for mental health care.

0:43:170:43:21

We are investing record amounts,

more than ever before,

0:43:210:43:24

in mental health care,

with a strong focus

0:43:240:43:27

on young people in schools.

0:43:270:43:28

So we are focused on this problem,

and I also want to emphasise...

0:43:280:43:33

I agree very strongly,

the apprenticeship levy

0:43:330:43:35

is a revolutionary instrument

of social justice in education.

0:43:350:43:40

It's going to mean many millions

more young people getting a real

0:43:400:43:43

effective start in life.

0:43:430:43:46

So I don't accept Faiza's

characterisation of schools

0:43:460:43:48

under this government.

0:43:480:43:51

There have been

significant improvements.

0:43:510:43:54

What do you say to the point

David Lammy was making about people

0:43:540:43:57

who need psychological support

and can't get it, people who need

0:43:570:44:00

speech therapy and can't get it,

the long delays that the teacher

0:44:000:44:03

was talking about and everybody

knows about, before these

0:44:030:44:06

young people get help?

0:44:060:44:08

Of course we want young people

to get help as quickly as possible

0:44:080:44:12

of course you want them to,

but he is saying you haven't

0:44:120:44:14

done anything about it.

0:44:140:44:16

But that is why we are investing far

more in talking therapies

0:44:160:44:18

than the government

of which he was a member ever did.

0:44:180:44:21

Yes, it takes a while to get

to those therapies but that is why

0:44:210:44:24

we've introduced these

waiting time targets.

0:44:240:44:26

Something that no Labour

government has ever done.

0:44:260:44:31

The person up there at

the back on the gangway.

0:44:310:44:35

Nothing's going to change the fact

that some people are academic

0:44:350:44:38

and some people aren't.

0:44:380:44:39

More and more tests isn't

going to make people

0:44:390:44:41

brighter or more academic.

0:44:410:44:43

Shouldn't children be allowed to be

children, and maybe that

0:44:430:44:46

would help their mental health?

0:44:460:44:49

What do you mean by children?

0:44:490:44:50

More and more, they seem to be given

tests and tests and they have

0:44:500:44:54

to meet these targets

and those targets.

0:44:540:44:59

Why not let them be children?

0:44:590:45:01

The academic ones will do it anyway

and not testing will give

0:45:010:45:03

the teachers more time to teach.

0:45:030:45:05

A lot of people with their hands up.

0:45:050:45:07

Let's go to the very back.

0:45:070:45:10

I'm a teacher as well and absolutely

agree with a lot of what's been

0:45:100:45:14

said.

0:45:140:45:17

I believe one of the arguments

is that, from the government, is

0:45:170:45:20

that the 8-9 -year-old

multiplication tables test will tell

0:45:200:45:22

teachers whether children need help.

0:45:220:45:30

I can assure you all the teachers

I've worked with absolutely know

0:45:310:45:34

without putting children through

additional testing where they need

0:45:340:45:36

help.

0:45:360:45:37

The problem is getting that help.

0:45:370:45:39

OK.

0:45:390:45:40

Yes, you.

0:45:400:45:43

What I would like to say

is that all children are

0:45:430:45:45

individuals, they're all different.

0:45:450:45:46

They develop at different rates.

0:45:460:45:48

They learn in different ways.

0:45:480:45:51

The idea that you're

supposed to get them

0:45:510:45:53

to meet certain targets

is

0:45:530:45:54

going to put a lot

of pressure on them

0:45:540:45:56

at a very young age,

which is

0:45:560:45:58

not fair on the children.

0:45:580:45:59

To learn at such a young

age the pressures of

0:45:590:46:02

trying to fix themselves

into a certain box.

0:46:020:46:06

I'll take one more point.

0:46:060:46:09

My point was really to do

with the south-west.

0:46:090:46:13

The recent social mobility

commission report

0:46:130:46:15

showed West Somerset

was one of the least

0:46:150:46:17

socially mobile areas

in the

0:46:170:46:18

country and part of

that is the education.

0:46:180:46:20

What's the government going to do

about that in terms of rural

0:46:200:46:23

schools?

0:46:230:46:27

Do you want to answer that?

0:46:270:46:28

And then we must move on.

0:46:280:46:31

I believe that in terms

of social mobility a

0:46:310:46:33

good education is absolutely

crucial, that's why we've been

0:46:330:46:35

focusing on exam standards.

0:46:350:46:38

That's also why we

want to revolutionise

0:46:380:46:41

technical education

with the introduction

0:46:410:46:42

of T-levels and also,

as I said, give many more young

0:46:420:46:45

people access to apprenticeships

to give them the skills they need to

0:46:450:46:48

get the jobs they want.

0:46:480:46:49

OK.

0:46:490:46:54

In rural areas.

0:46:540:46:56

Why is that, what's going to be done

about it, what resources are

0:46:560:46:59

going to go into it to change that?

0:46:590:47:01

Well the apprenticeship level will

put, you know, far greater funds

0:47:010:47:03

into skills training

than ever before.

0:47:030:47:05

It's nonsense, it's just not...

0:47:050:47:06

Look, in the south-west FE

budgets are being cut.

0:47:060:47:08

Money is not rising in schools.

0:47:080:47:10

Children's centres

are being shut down.

0:47:100:47:11

She's not, I'm afraid

she's just got it

0:47:110:47:13

wrong, it's not happening

on the ground, it just isn't.

0:47:130:47:20

It's good, I mean, I agree.

0:47:200:47:22

You agree.

0:47:220:47:23

We'll move on.

0:47:230:47:24

We're going to a question

because of where we're sitting.

0:47:240:47:27

It was likely to come up.

0:47:270:47:28

I'm sure some of you were

directly involved in it.

0:47:280:47:31

Let's have the question

from Christopher Parker please.

0:47:310:47:33

Can we afford to further

erode the Armed

0:47:330:47:35

Forces, for instant potential cuts

to the helicopter fleet that is

0:47:350:47:37

produced and operated within Yeovil?

0:47:370:47:43

Just tell us about what's

operated in Yeovil.

0:47:430:47:48

For instance, here at the base we've

got the Merlin and the

0:47:480:47:51

new Wildcat.

0:47:510:47:56

Both produced at the Leonardo

factory in Yeovil.

0:47:560:47:58

And you're threatened with cuts?

0:47:580:47:59

The force that I am on, the Wildcat,

there's been rumours, the Wildcat

0:47:590:48:04

fleet being halved to fill,

you know, to cover the cost of the

0:48:040:48:07

amphibious fleet.

0:48:070:48:10

OK.

0:48:100:48:12

Camilla Cavendish.

0:48:120:48:20

I guess the Conservative

government did raise the armed

0:48:200:48:22

services budget to 2%

of GDP, which I thought

0:48:220:48:24

was really important.

0:48:240:48:25

And it gave a really

important signal to

0:48:250:48:27

Nato that we are in there

and we are behind them

0:48:270:48:30

and we are fulfilling our

global responsibilities.

0:48:300:48:37

And I think it's really particularly

important as we move towards leaving

0:48:370:48:39

the EU that we continue to play that

card, because it's one of our

0:48:390:48:43

strongest suits, actually,

with some of our EU

0:48:430:48:45

partners and also with

the

0:48:450:48:46

United States.

0:48:460:48:47

And I, as I understand

it, the government has

0:48:470:48:49

committed to that,

to keep that target.

0:48:490:48:51

Clearly, because the pound has

fallen in value so much because

0:48:510:48:53

of Brexit compared to the dollar

there is a real issue now about the

0:48:530:48:57

purchase of equipment the armed

services is supposed to be making,

0:48:570:48:59

and the pressures on the budget.

0:48:590:49:01

And I don't know the

detail of that, but

0:49:010:49:04

there was definitely going to be

some questions about that.

0:49:040:49:12

Wasn't the budget cut

between 2010-2015 by

0:49:120:49:13

about nearly 20%,

the defence budget?

0:49:130:49:15

I don't know how much there

were some cuts made, but in 2015

0:49:150:49:19

obviously the government

committed to 2% of GDP.

0:49:190:49:21

And you are happy with that?

0:49:210:49:25

Yeah, I thought that was

a really important signal.

0:49:250:49:27

And I think the question

now is how are they

0:49:270:49:30

going to respond to those cost

pressures that are coming, really,

0:49:300:49:32

from the pound against the dollar.

0:49:320:49:34

I suppose the one

thing I would say is

0:49:340:49:36

we need to make sure we're not going

to have a defence review by stealth.

0:49:360:49:40

We need to be told the facts

and we need to know

0:49:400:49:43

exactly what's going

to

0:49:430:49:44

happen.

0:49:440:49:51

And I think there's been a lot

of confusion, obfuscation about

0:49:510:49:54

this from various quarters.

0:49:540:49:55

And we need the Defence

Secretary to make

0:49:550:49:56

it very, very clear what his

commitment's going to be.

0:49:560:49:59

Christopher Parker

do you think defenc

0:49:590:50:00

is being badly handled

at the

0:50:000:50:02

moment?

0:50:020:50:03

Is that what you're saying?

0:50:030:50:04

Certainly I see that.

0:50:040:50:05

And the threat that we keep hearing,

for instance, the Albion and the

0:50:050:50:08

Bulwark getting ditched, which is

eroding further the amphibious

0:50:080:50:10

assault capability of the Navy.

0:50:100:50:12

In we need to plug it somewhere,

I understand, money

0:50:120:50:14

doesn't grow on trees.

0:50:140:50:15

And also the Marines,

potential cuts to the

0:50:150:50:17

Marines as well, we can't just scrap

these historic units as well.

0:50:170:50:25

Faiza, what do you think?

0:50:250:50:33

When I think about issues

of the military, me

0:50:340:50:36

personally, I would prefer

if we weren't involved,

0:50:360:50:38

obviously, in more wars,

but the thing is we obviously

0:50:380:50:41

need the military.

0:50:410:50:42

The big thing is about jobs.

0:50:420:50:43

So the problem is, when they make

these cuts they don't plan

0:50:430:50:46

ahead, they don't think

about what this means

0:50:460:50:48

for people's security.

0:50:480:50:49

So if they can take

those skills and use

0:50:490:50:51

it in other sectors,

that's the

0:50:510:50:53

way in which we need to do it.

0:50:530:50:55

We often know these

things are coming

0:50:550:50:56

up.

0:50:560:50:57

And we just let it come to that

point where there's a crisis and

0:50:570:51:02

people are worried about their jobs.

0:51:020:51:03

Small towns where

those are, you know,

0:51:030:51:05

quite a big share of the jobs, then

that has massive implications for

0:51:050:51:08

those communities.

0:51:080:51:09

What I would say is,

if over time we want to make

0:51:090:51:12

cuts to the military

budget, and we want

0:51:120:51:14

to shift our economy

into

0:51:140:51:16

working on other sectors, we have

to do that with jobs in mind and we

0:51:160:51:22

have to do that slowly.

0:51:220:51:23

We just don't see those plans there.

0:51:230:51:25

It's very frustrating

for people that are

0:51:250:51:27

in those sectors.

0:51:270:51:28

David Lammy.

0:51:280:51:33

Well look, our armed

services do a very

0:51:330:51:34

important job and it's not

just in moments of war.

0:51:340:51:37

Peace keeping all over the world.

0:51:370:51:38

Patrolling the seas against pirates,

drugs, all sorts of

0:51:380:51:40

issues that British armed

services are involved in.

0:51:400:51:42

That's got to be funded.

0:51:420:51:44

I want to put my hands

firmly on the table.

0:51:440:51:46

I am opposed to Trident.

0:51:460:51:52

I have been committed

to wanting our country to lead on

0:51:520:51:55

nuclear disarmament

for many, many years.

0:51:550:51:56

And if we could at least

cooperate with some others,

0:51:560:51:58

particularly on nuclear weapons,

then we might have more money to

0:51:580:52:01

spend on the important

armed services.

0:52:010:52:03

You were nodding, Mr, about this,

you agree with that?

0:52:030:52:10

Which is probably contrary to a lot

of people I work with, being a

0:52:130:52:17

Yorkshire and I understand

we're never going to use

0:52:170:52:19

Trident, I hope we never

0:52:190:52:20

use it.

0:52:200:52:24

I would never push the button,

I hope no one else would.

0:52:240:52:27

Let's plug the gap with

the money from Trident.

0:52:270:52:29

Theresa Villiers.

0:52:290:52:30

Would you save on Trident

and build helicopters?

0:52:300:52:32

Not just that, but...

0:52:320:52:36

We have the best armed

services in the world.

0:52:360:52:38

And they need to be funded.

0:52:380:52:41

And the government's

committed to the Nato

0:52:410:52:45

obligation of spending 2%

on defence spending.

0:52:450:52:50

Whilst I can't answer your question

on those individual

0:52:500:52:53

projects, they think we are all well

aware there is a very, very lively

0:52:530:52:56

debate within government

and within Parliament on this issue.

0:52:560:52:58

And I'm absolutely

confident the government

0:52:580:53:00

is going to continue

to fund the armed services

0:53:000:53:02

in the way they have to be.

0:53:020:53:07

It is a crucial part

of our commitment to defending this

0:53:070:53:09

country.

0:53:090:53:16

Unlike the Labour Party,

who have a leader who thinks it

0:53:160:53:19

might be a good idea to disband

the Armed Forces, we totally support

0:53:190:53:22

them.

0:53:220:53:23

Very cheap, isn't it, really.

0:53:230:53:24

That is what Jeremy Corbyn

has said in the past.

0:53:240:53:27

And I think it is important

we fund our armed services

0:53:270:53:29

properly.

0:53:290:53:30

Richard Walker.

0:53:300:53:33

This spending review

has been going on

0:53:330:53:34

for a very long time now and I think

Faiza made a really good point.

0:53:340:53:41

It's the uncertainty

for the servicemen

0:53:410:53:42

and women and the families involved.

0:53:420:53:45

So whatever the government decides

to do, they think they need to

0:53:450:53:48

decide quickly and be clear.

0:53:480:53:50

For me, you know,

being in this amazing

0:53:500:53:52

building and seeing our heritage,

we have some of the best

0:53:520:53:55

Armed Forces in the world.

0:53:550:53:57

And we need to keep

investing in that.

0:53:570:54:01

I think it would be a travesty

if Whitehall were to

0:54:010:54:04

cut away at our front line services.

0:54:040:54:05

OK, the man up there.

0:54:050:54:06

I'm a veteran of two armies.

0:54:060:54:08

I'm a veteran of the British Army

and the American army.

0:54:080:54:10

I'm absolutely disgusted at

successive governments, both Labour

0:54:100:54:12

and the Conservatives, and their

cuts to the defence budget.

0:54:120:54:15

I agree that...

0:54:150:54:23

With the lady on the end

there, but there is...

0:54:260:54:29

We are changing,

the world is changing.

0:54:290:54:30

There is no need for a massive

standing army any more.

0:54:300:54:33

However I can't understand

why we're going to

0:54:330:54:35

spend so much money on Trident

when the threats seem to be coming

0:54:350:54:38

from smaller terrorist groups,

independent countries, things like

0:54:380:54:40

that.

0:54:400:54:41

Why is that?

0:54:410:54:47

You, sir, in the middle at the back.

0:54:470:54:51

Over to you.

0:54:510:54:52

The man at the very

back in blue, yes.

0:54:520:55:00

As an ex serving member

of the armed services,

0:55:000:55:03

I also agree that we should not

invest in Trident.

0:55:030:55:05

We've got, we can test

the relationship we

0:55:050:55:07

have with the United States

and an attack on one in Nato

0:55:070:55:10

is an attack on all,

so let's just not put the

0:55:100:55:12

money to Trident and let's let our

Big Brother help us out if we need

0:55:120:55:16

that.

0:55:160:55:17

You, sir, in the centre.

0:55:170:55:18

We talk about funding

the armed services.

0:55:180:55:20

Why is it when Putin sails by we can

only send out a minesweeper?

0:55:200:55:23

OK, you want to come in.

0:55:230:55:25

Yes.

0:55:250:55:28

I think it's very

disingenuous to talk about

0:55:280:55:30

percentage of GDP when you're just

about to crater the economy through

0:55:300:55:33

Brexit and that percentage is going

to be a much smaller number.

0:55:330:55:36

APPLAUSE OK, we didn't

do Brexit tonight.

0:55:360:55:40

We do Brexit most weeks.

0:55:400:55:42

We didn't do Brexit tonight.

0:55:420:55:43

We're coming to the end.

0:55:430:55:44

Shame.

0:55:440:55:46

Shame.

0:55:460:55:47

Let's just...

0:55:470:55:49

Occasionally, occasionally, even

though all the ministers are out

0:55:490:55:51

there talking, we have

to take a break from it.

0:55:510:55:59

Let's just

0:56:000:56:01

have a last quick question from

0:56:010:56:05

Robert Thomson.

0:56:050:56:06

Are politicians incapable

of answering questions or

0:56:060:56:08

is it just my imagination?

0:56:080:56:09

LAUGHTER

APPLAUSE

0:56:090:56:10

You've had quite a good

display tonight.

0:56:100:56:12

Let's go round.

0:56:120:56:13

You start on it, Faiza.

0:56:130:56:16

Yeah, I get frustrated as well

with that and I have to say,

0:56:160:56:21

one thing that they are also very

good at is forgetting the history.

0:56:210:56:25

And I think one of the things I've

heard today from hearing teachers

0:56:250:56:28

and military people,

is the cuts, the big

0:56:280:56:30

cuts that we've had

in the

0:56:300:56:31

last seven - eight years that

are affecting all people working in

0:56:310:56:34

public services, and

the way that Theresa

0:56:340:56:36

and Camilla even went

on

0:56:360:56:37

tonight is as if those

things didn't happen.

0:56:370:56:39

Those people in the city,

bankers in the city have got it as

0:56:390:56:42

good as they've ever had it.

0:56:420:56:43

And yet we are still

suffering the impact of

0:56:430:56:46

the financial crisis ten years on.

0:56:460:56:47

And we cannot let them forget that.

0:56:470:56:49

OK.

0:56:490:56:51

APPLAUSE It wasn't quite

the question, you've

0:56:510:56:53

taken up most of the

time we've got left.

0:56:530:56:55

Very briefly.

0:56:550:56:57

Politicians of course

are experts at not answering

0:56:570:56:59

the question.

0:56:590:57:00

And as a businessman I would say

this, but more straight

0:57:000:57:03

talking is what is required.

0:57:030:57:04

Camilla?

0:57:040:57:05

Quickly if you would.

0:57:050:57:09

I just, if you're

going to attack me,

0:57:090:57:12

I'm going to have to

slightly defend myself.

0:57:120:57:15

I don't think at any point in this

programme I suggested that

0:57:150:57:17

there haven't been any cuts.

0:57:170:57:19

Local government is

suffering enormously.

0:57:190:57:21

There's been an enormous numbers

of cuts the coalition had to make.

0:57:210:57:24

They inherited a deficit.

0:57:240:57:31

The question is, are

politicians incapable of

0:57:310:57:33

answering...

0:57:330:57:34

I'm sorry, but, you know.

0:57:340:57:35

All right.

0:57:350:57:36

Sorry, politicians, really great

politicians to answer

0:57:360:57:38

the question, and they defuse it

with humour and they get to the

0:57:380:57:41

heart of it.

0:57:410:57:42

And there are a few great

politicians, and maybe one of

0:57:420:57:44

them's sitting next to me,

I don't know, David.

0:57:440:57:47

Both of them sitting next to me.

0:57:470:57:48

They'll have to be very, very quick.

0:57:480:57:50

Theresa.

0:57:500:57:51

No.

0:57:510:57:52

And we are capable of

answering questions.

0:57:520:57:54

David?

0:57:540:57:55

We don't answer enough questions

honestly, that's the

0:57:550:57:57

truth, across the board.

0:57:570:57:58

OK.

0:57:580:57:59

APPLAUSE OK.

0:57:590:58:05

More questions, more

questions next week,

0:58:050:58:06

then, because time's up

0:58:060:58:07

here.

0:58:070:58:08

Uttoxeter next week.

0:58:080:58:09

Chairman of the Conservative

Party, Brandon

0:58:090:58:11

Lewis, the boss of Siemens

is going to be on the programme.

0:58:110:58:14

John Prescott for Labour.

0:58:140:58:15

Week after that, Blackpool.

0:58:150:58:16

With Ken Clarke, Diane

Abbott and Nigel Farage.

0:58:160:58:18

BOOING

That's a great one!

0:58:180:58:23

That's an end of the

pier show for you in

0:58:230:58:26

Blackpool.

0:58:260:58:27

Call...

0:58:270:58:27

Call...

0:58:270:58:30

If you'd like to be in the audience.

0:58:300:58:32

Or you can go to the

Question Time website.

0:58:320:58:34

The address is there.

0:58:340:58:35

You just follow the instructions.

0:58:350:58:37

As always now, if you want

to have a say in what we've

0:58:370:58:40

been talking about,

Question Time extra

0:58:400:58:41

time is on BBC 5 Live

on

0:58:410:58:43

the radio.

0:58:430:58:44

And you can watch it

on the BBC iPlayer.

0:58:440:58:46

My thanks to our panel

and to all of you who came to

0:58:460:58:49

this wonderful location tonight.

0:58:490:58:50

Until next Thursday,

from Yeovil or Yeovilton,

0:58:500:58:52

however you like to look

at

0:58:520:58:53

it, from Question Time, good night.

0:58:530:59:01

David Dimbleby chairs the debate from Yeovil. On the panel are the Conservatve's Theresa Villiers MP, former secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Labour's David Lammy MP, author of the Lammy Review into the treatment and outcomes of BAME offenders in the justice system, Richard Walker, managing director, Iceland Foods, Faiza Shaheen, director of CLASS (Centre for Labour and Social Studies) and Camilla Cavendish, former head of policy for David Cameron.


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